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Coalition demands issuance of withheld certificates by INEC to elected APC lawmakers

By Adekunle Adebayo, Abuja

The Coalition of Democratic Watchdogs of Nigeria, (CODWON) has challenged the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withhold Certificates of Returns to elected members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The group in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday, wondered why INEC has decided to toy with the mandate of the people.

CODWON regretted that INEC has, “unfortunately and most regrettably arrogated to itself the powers of rule and divide and cash and carry policy to illegally withhold the Certificate of Return of the Governor-Elect of Zamfara State, Muktar Shehu and 38 other APC lawmakers in Zamfara State even when a competent High Court of Law sitting in Zamfara State had issued an order for INEC to recognize same persons as the only authentic candidates of the primaries conducted by the Zamfara APC.

“Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal Judgment of 25th March, 2019 did not make any order affecting the status quo, neither did the court of Appeal judgment vacate the earlier order of the High Court in Zamfara. So, the order made earlier by the Zamfara High Court still subsists.

“Again, for INEC to rely on the letter written by Mike Ozekhome (SAN), counsel to the other parties requesting the Commission to withhold the Certificate of Return is a sham and an aberration of the rule of law. This is most unfortunate and completely unbecoming of INEC as a commission saddled with the responsibility of neutrality to now rely on a mere letter rather than the order made by a High Court of law of competent Jurisdiction”, CODWON stressed.

The coalition called on INEC to stop disgracing the Nigerian Nation and the oat of neutrality and immediately release and issue the certificate of return to the authentic candidates of Zamfara State APC and Governor-Elect of Zamfara State, Muktar Shehu and 38 other law makers in the State without further delay.

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